HUNTSVILLE – The Sam Houston State Bearkat softball team had three returning players named to the Southland Conference’s annual preseason all-conference team, per a release Tuesday by league officials.
Senior pitcher Lindsey McLeod and sophomore catcher Bailey White were each named to the preseason first team, and junior shortstop Tiffany Thompson was named to the preseason second team. All three were automatic selections to the team after earning all-league honors at the conclusion of the 2018 season.
McLeod earned her spot on the first team after a record-breaking junior campaign, leading the SLC in strikeouts with 222 - the most in any SHSU single-season – on her way to earning second team all-SLC honors at season’s end. Her success in the circle was key for the Bearkats as the Austin native threw 197.1 innings in 37 total appearances for the Bearkats a season ago, posting a 2.34 ERA. McLeod finished the 2018 season 15-12, throwing 21 complete games.
Redshirt sophomore catcher Bailey White had a big first season after coming off an injury in 2017. Originally from Burleson, Texas, White started behind the plate in 49 games, hitting .260 with five home runs and 27 RBI to earn third team all-SLC honors. Of those 27 RBI, 20 were during Southland Conference play, which she led the team in. On the defensive side, she threw out seven baserunners for the season.
Rounding out the Bearkat selections was junior shortstop Tiffany Thompson. A local product from Montgomery, Thompson was second on the team in batting average hitting .301. She led the Bearkats in home runs with eight on the year, and also with 19 stolen bases. Thompson finished the 2018 season on an eight-game hitting streak.
The trio makes up three of the 13 returning players from a team that went 24-33 a season ago, placing fourth in the Southland Conference Tournament.
Sam Houston kicks off its 2019 campaign on Feb. 9 against Kentucky in the opener of the 2019 Houston Invitational. They’ll also be going head-to-head with Oklahoma State, Illinois, and Houston to round off the weekend.
The Bearkats will then return home to take on Texas Southern on Feb. 13 at 6:30 P.M.